Sep 29, 2022 - News

Police look for motive in shooting outside Roxborough High School

An investigator takes photos of a wall where bullets struck it.

An investigator on Wednesday works the scene where people were shot near Roxborough High School a day earlier. Photo: Matt Rourke/Associated Press

Philadelphia authorities are seeking the public's help in their investigation into the shooting outside Roxborough High School that killed a football player after a scrimmage on Tuesday.

The latest: Five shooters, all thought to be juveniles, opened fire on a group of teenagers as they attempted to walk to the school's locker room around 4:30pm, firing more than 60 times, police said at a news conference on Wednesday.

  • Police think at least one of the victims was targeted in the shooting, according to deputy commissioner Frank Vanore.
  • But Police Capt. Jason Smith said he believed that 14-year-old Nicholas Elizalde, who was fatally shot in the chest during the shooting, was not the intended target.

Zoom in: No arrests have been made and police have yet to determine a motive.

  • A reward of at least $45,000 is being offered for anyone who provides information that leads to an arrest and conviction.

Details: The shooters waited inside a light-colored Ford Explorer SUV for six minutes until a specific group passed the vehicle following the scrimmage between three high schools, police said.

  • Five people exited the SUV and began shooting around the 4700 block of Pechin Street, police said.
  • Four shooters then returned to the SUV. Police believe a sixth person was driving the vehicle.

The fifth shooter chased a 17-year-old down the street, who was not a member of the Roxborough High School football team, police said.

  • The 17-year-old was struck by gunfire and collapsed on the sidewalk, where the shooter then stood over the victim and continued to fire.

Four of the five victims, including Elizalde of Havertown, were members of the Roxborough High School football team.

  • The other victims ranged in age from 14-17 and are in stable conditions.

What’s next: Police will boost coverage around high school football practices and scrimmages following the shooting, which they have not done in the past, Dept. Commissioner Joel Dales said.

  • The department also will station an officer at games where “we anticipate issues,” and make periodical checks to other games, he said.
  • The School District of Philadelphia is not considering canceling after-school activities, Superintendent Tony Watlington said.
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